From Populous Wiki

Triggers are essential map objects used to cause effects or reward players with spells and buildings. Stone Heads and other worship-able objects require them to function. Triggers are also used for AI Scripts and to trigger other triggers and for timers. For an in depth tutorial, check Triggers and Practical Examples.

Trigger Types

There are five types of triggers:

  • Proximity - Should be associated with a Stone Head object. Sets head object to look like a Stone Head if it provides a Discovery or Totem Pole if it does not.
  • Timed - Triggers an event after a time period without player interaction.
  • Player Death - (Single player) Triggers when a tribe dies. Usually provides the same discovery as a Vault of Knowledge in the tribe's region.
  • Shaman Proximity - Similar to Proximity but will display head object as an Obelisk that only a shaman may worship. The Populous Reincarnated Matchmaker will automatically convert these into Shaman AoD.
  • Library - (Single player) Similar to Shaman Proximity, but for Vault of Knowledge. It will show the discovery given on the status screen.
  • Shaman AoD - Exactly the same as Shaman Proximity except displays head object as a Gargoyle.

Proximity Style Triggers

The Proximity trigger is what causes Stone Heads (also Totem Poles, Obelisks and Gargoyles) to reward a player with spells, or set off effects.

The options included in the trigger are:

  • Cell radius - The radius of the trigger object in which the Stone Head must be located. These are typically placed in the same square so this value should be set to 1.
  • Pray time - The time (in quarter seconds) that worshipers must pray to receive a reward.
  • Occurrences - The number of times the Stone Head will give its reward before sinking. Set to 0 for infinite.
  • Inactive time - The rate the Stone Head's worship progress bar will go down when worshipers are removed.
  • Trigger count - The number of worshipers that are needed to pray at the Stone Head.
  • Start inactive - If enabled, the Stone Head will not appear until it is triggered by another object.
  • Create player owned - If enabled, the Stone Head reward goes the tribe it is set to, even when another player has prayed for it.

Timed Triggers

Timed triggers are most useful for automatic reoccurring events (such as mist, erodes, or lava) or for being linked with Proximity triggers in order to provide more than 10 effects. The attributes for a Timed trigger are different from a Proximity trigger.

The options are:

  • Cell radius - Unused (Set to 1)
  • Pray time - Unused (Set to 1)
  • Occurrences - The number of times the Trigger will activate before being destroyed. Set to 0 for infinite. Set to -1 for "re-trigger" where the trigger will not be destroyed after activating and will instead lie dormant until activated again.
  • Inactive time - Unused (Set to 1)
  • Trigger count - The time (in game turns - 1/12 seconds) the trigger will wait before activating.
  • Start inactive - If disabled, the trigger will start timing at the start of the level.
  • Create player owned - If enabled, the trigger reward goes the tribe it is set to, even when another player has activated it.


A link connects an effect or discovery to the trigger. Triggers can have up to 10 links (though more can be added by linking a Timed Trigger). When an effect is linked, the effect will occur when the trigger is activated and not at the start of the level. If a Spell is linked, the spell is cast only if the shaman of the tribe activating the trigger is alive. The most common link is a discovery to give the worshiper a reward.


Discovery objects are used as rewards when a trigger is activated. They can contain spells, buildings or Mana. The value of the mana should be set fairly high as this number is 100 times the commonly known spell mana values (e.g. a Tornado requires 900 mana so a Discovery would need to give 90,000 mana to provide the player enough to charge a single tornado).

A discovery given once will provide a one-shot spell or building that cannot be recharged/built again. A level discovery will allow the player to recharge the spell (and provide one shot) or build unlimited of the building.